My drum students are constantly lamenting the scarcity of good readable drum tabs on the internet. Like my guitar students, they want to be able to find tabs for their favorite songs and learn them “on their own”. While there are some decent guitar tabs available, the drummers, for the most part, are left out. Let’s explore the making of a drum tab to discover why this problem exists.
What Are Drum Tabs?
Drum tablature (tab) is a kind of short-hand sheet music for drummers. Drum Tab for the internet is usually written in “acsii text”. Part of the reason that this format is so widely used is that it saves the author the time and money of creating it in a music notation software program. This means that it can be offered free to drummers looking for tabs.The problem is that you often get what you pay for.
How Drum Tabs are Written
For the most part, the programs that are available to write drum tabs are inherently flawed. They do not provide an easily readable means of notating rhythm. If you look at an acsii drum tab, you will notice that the rhythm is indicated by small dashes which represent sixteenth notes. A drummer could go blind just trying to count them! When you add to this the fact that the great majority of drum tabs on the internet are written by amateurs who may have trouble notating rhythm accurately, you are left with some real problems for the drummer who is trying to learn a song from the tab.
Where To Find Good Drum Tabs
If you want accurate and easy to read drum tabs, you need to look for tabs that are created with legitimate music notation software. There are several good software programs available. Among these are “Guitar Pro” and “G7” (by Sebelius). Although these are primarily guitar software programs, both can be used to write excellent drum tabs. These tabs are written in traditional drum notation and are extremely easy to read. Once you experience these tabs, you will never want to go back to the confusing and difficult to read tabs that you find free on the internet!
If you would like to see an example of these tabs, you can find a free tab that I wrote with Guitar Pro here: www.may-studio-music-lessons.com/drum-tabs.html
If you are interested in purchasing one of these programs, you can find them here: www.may-studio-music-lessons.com/guitar-music-software.html
You will also find more information on the page about quality drum tabs. Have fun with these tabs–they will change your drumming!